Black Friday offers deep discounts and enticing deals, but holiday shoppers who venture out into the cold, dark night must have brave hearts, steely resolve, and pointed elbows. Far away from the crowds of frenzied shoppers, those of us who prefer to shop online, wearing our fluffy bathrobes and drinking hot chocolate, face our own set of dangers.
Here are some online shopping tips to help you remain safe and secure:
Choosing the Merchant
- Stick with what you know - Use websites that you know are legitimate. If you visit an unfamiliar one, check the avast! WebRep rating to make sure it’s trustworthy. A quick search for reviews, complaints, or scams related to the site will help you too.
- Make sure the site is secure - Look for the closed padlock icon on your browser’s address bar or a URL address that begins with shttp or http. This indicates that the purchase is encrypted or secured.
Before You Purchase
- Read the fine print - Make sure you’re familiar with the seller’s shipping, warranty, and return policy. Some stores will offer full refunds, while others charge restocking fees and give only store credit.
- Use safe payment options - Credit cards are generally the safest option because they offer fraud protection. Credit cards also have a limit on the amount you will be responsible for paying in case of fraud. If you use avast! Internet Security or avast! Pro Antivirus, now is the time to start using SafeZone, a secure window for financial transactions, which is perfect for online shopping and banking.
After the Purchase
- Keep a paper trail - Save a digital or hard copy of your online transactions, including copies of emails with the seller.
- Check your statements - Look over your monthly credit card statements as soon as you get them to make sure there aren’t any unauthorized charges. If there is a discrepancy, call your bank and report it immediately.